Folk Wandering
76

Folk Wandering NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(39 Reviews)
Positive
72%
Mixed
26%
Negative
2%
Members say
Ambitious, Great singing, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

About the Show

Pipeline Theatre Company's world premiere musical investigates the making and breaking of the American dream across three bygone generations.

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Member Reviews (39)

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77
Moving, Clever, Entertaining, Quietly intense, Slow

See it if You like shows that sort of sneak up on you. Quirky in its plot presentation I wasn’t sure I even liked it then found myself completely in.

Don't see it if You want a lot of straight forward action. This takes time to take shape. For a while you may not know where you’re going but it’s worth it.

52
Disjointed, Dull, Pretentious, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you want to see an earnest & arty new folk musical showcasing a jaunty & sometimes poignant score by emerging singer-songwriters.

Don't see it if you expect cohesive directing or a cogent storyline (or 3) to support the jumbled musical styles (by 10 composers) & awkward framing device.

69
Ambitious, Great singing, Dizzying, Quirky, Confusing

See it if You know someone in the play or you don't mind great musicians with disjointed, confusing plotline. Actors really enjoyed themselves.

Don't see it if You need a plot that makes sense and not just random stories with random people that aren't framed well. Read more

75
Delightful, Entertaining, Quirky, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if you like good singing and a talented ensemble. Some very good singer-songwriter type songs. Production accomplishes a lot on small budget.

Don't see it if you're looking for more established stories. Characters felt more archetypal than fully fleshed out. Still a show worth seeing for talent.

89
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great singing, Confusing, Profound

See it if You enjoy folk/indie music. Enjoy innovative shows that aren't afraid to break rules. Enjoy musicals that look at American history.

Don't see it if You enjoy only more traditional book musicals that don't break the fourth wall. Don't enjoy folk/indie music. You want something "light." Read more

85
Delightful, Epic

See it if You enjoy new musicals. You enjoy stories that span space and time.

Don't see it if You want something familiar. You want a clear thesis.

82
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Resonant

See it if You want to see talented energetic cast in a multigenerationsl musical.

Don't see it if You expect perfection. Lyrics sometime are lost.

76
Heartfelt, Cute

See it if you like vignettes of Americana set to good music.

Don't see it if the vignettes are not quite long enough to go deep with any one of them, thus making the characters feel a tad stock.

Critic Reviews (6)

The New York Times
March 4th, 2018

"Very busy...Its sheer abundance of story and song, and its fast cuts from one narrative to another, can make it feel like a tasting menu...There’s nostalgia in the gorgeously played songs...Backhaus’s stories, vivid with the colors of human experience, are a vital defense against sentimentality...The narrative frame feels forced, though, teetering between earnestness and self-consciousness without solving the problem of uniting the three different plots...Only partly succeeds."
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Time Out New York
March 5th, 2018

"Simultaneously intimate and epic as its multicultural cast conjures three tales from our collective American memory...Even if you guess where these narratives will go, you won’t anticipate the emotional epiphanies they evoke as they spin facts into melodic fiction. The numbers are enthralling throughout and make up for flaws in the storytelling...Although the show occasionally slips into pretension, it gets at something deep about the way the past can hold us back or push us forward."
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Theatermania
March 5th, 2018

"There are a few standout dishes, the company is charming, but the whole is less than the sum of its fragmented parts...All signs suggest that we're in for something akin to side-by-side episodes of 'Wishbone' rather than a scrutinizing look at these three eras of American history. And yet, the latter portion of the show — which features one particularly jarring tonal shift — subverts that expectation in a way that leaves us more confused than moved by the suddenly changing winds."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 5th, 2018

"The only thing linking these stories is the ineptitude with which they are told...Jaclyn Backhaus' book is so sketchy and poorly constructed that it is impossible for these three intercut narratives to build on each other...The score, by ten contributors, lacks a cohesive style or point of view...Andrew Neisler's direction allows for plenty of mugging among the members of the large cast, but there are striking contributions."
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TheaterScene.net
March 6th, 2018

"Beautifully performed...A charming and good-natured musical...The score is an accomplished blend of well-crafted songs in a variety of styles...Neisler's staging is expertly panoramic...Hobbs' choreography is a delightful assortment of dances and movements that represent the different time periods and moods...Though the ambitious linking of the three disparate stories is at times strained, 'Folk Wandering' succeeds as an original and absorbing entertainment."
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Exeunt Magazine
March 5th, 2018

"The overall excellence of the ensemble is one of the joys...Where 'Folk Wandering' attempts to plumb more profound emotional depths, the production suffers from a lack of any really strong connection to the key characters...The overall quality of the scenic and performative elements of disguise some of its shakier dramaturgical elements. The book...is basically strong on a scenic level, but does not seem to know where to land...A thoroughly enjoyable new musical."
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